Ever more people are facing exclusion owing to their social background, ethnicity, age, gender or religion. Through its projects, HEKS/EPER strives to ensure that everyone in this country can take part in its social, cultural, political and economic life.
In its work in Switzerland, HEKS/EPER targets groups of socially disadvantaged Swiss citizens and migrants who are affected by unequal treatment, discrimination and exclusion. The causes of social marginalization are diverse and complex and presumably arise from an accumulation of various problems. These are a low income and precarious employment, little or no knowledge of a national language, psycho-social baggage created by violence, war and displacement, mental and physical burdens following illness or addiction, social isolation or precarious living conditions. HEKS/EPER works actively to ensure that the affected people have access to education, work, government programmes and services. Inclusion is incumbent on society as a whole, however. This calls for open-mindedness as well as regulatory structures that ensure the right of social participation for all. This in turn implies that everyone has the same rights and opportunities and that factors such as gender, age, social background, nationality or religion do not give rise to discrimination.
Project work for social inclusion
HEKS/EPER strives through its project work to enable the socially disadvantaged to lead an independent life, reduce their social risks and protect themselves from unequal treatment and discrimination. They should be able to participate in and help shape public life, realize their rights and perform their duties. They are afforded the easiest possible access to information and advice, they can obtain qualifications and support, as well as make contacts and build up a social network. In doing this work, HEKS/EPER focuses on topics in which it has the requisite expertise and the necessary experience:
Job market integration and occupation in the framework of structured daily routines
Language and education courses
Early childhood and parent education
Intercultural interpreting and mediation
Age and migration
Counselling for sans papiers (undocumented people)
Social engagement and publicity
Beyond supporting individual persons, HEKS/EPER's social engagement aims to draw attention to the concerns of the socially disadvantaged in the political, economic and social realms, with a view to the betterment of their situation. In this HEKS/EPER has legitimacy by virtue of its long-standing project work. HEKS/EPER closely monitors trends in Switzerland relating to social and labour market policy, migration and integration policy, and protection against discrimination. Moreover, HEKS/EPER participates in networks in order to communicate its message more effectively.
Project Basel-Stadt and Baselland
New gardens in both Basels
HEKS/EPER leases allotment gardens at various locations in the Cantons of Basel-Stadt and Baselland and cultivates them together with refugee families.